A honey of a bell rings in the juiciest season

Quietly, on a frigid winter Wednesday, one of our favorite seasons of the year arrived.

I caught a glimpse of its herald as I skidded  round our corner and headed toward our driveway.

I spy with my nearsighted eye … Honey Bells!

The bright green and orange package leaned suavely against our otherwise unadorned front porch while all around 30 mile an hour winds whipped snow past empty city streets.

“What’s this,” I thought with growing excitement as I recognized the package that arrived annually at our house. “Could it be?”

Honey bell oranges, the greatest Florida export since Gatorade, last only a brief season, usually two weeks between December and February. Recognizable by their bell shape and outie belly button, the oranges (really a hybrid of grapefruits and tangerines) produce the sweetest and most plentiful juice you’ll ever taste.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the telltale box. I brushed the snow off, carefully carried the box inside the house and slowly slit it open, hoping the oranges would not be frozen solid.

Against all odds, the sweet nectar ran clear and we immediately juiced ourselves a glass.

Winter raged around us with all its frozen fury, sidewalks still needed to be cleared, windshields scraped and mittens thawed on the radiator.

But, for a brief, sunny moment as we sipped our Honey Bell juice, we tasted Florida sunshine. And it felt really good.

I spie with my nearsighted eye
This was the scene in our neighborhood on the day our Honey Bells arrived: cold winds, blowing snow and not a human in sight!
A bit of Florida sunshine on a frozen porch
But I spied with my nearsighted eyes –a familiar box of sunshine!
Love and blessings from the sunshine state
“Love and blessings from the sunshine state,” such a thoughtful gift from our sister and brother in-law Elaine and Chip.
We jumped right in
We jumped right in.
New juicer
We also love our new citrus juicer that we had to buy because someone (Vinnie) borrowed stole our electric juicer. We don’t care, though, because we get a kick out of this one and Vinnie loves fresh orange juice even more than we do.
A bit of sunner decilious-ness
If pictures could taste and words could smell, you’d have an accurate description of the brief miracle called the Florida Honey Bell, which is redundant, because honey bells only grow in Florida…and so should Mollys…and Lauras…
Late afternoon and not a soul in sight.
Because even with all that Southern Sunshine brightening up our kitchen, this is still what the view outside our window looked like. Brrrrr.

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